Joseph and Pain (Part 5)

We finally reach the climax of the Joseph story when family pain and shame, both of which had been repressed for years, pushed forth in a way that brought true healing and reconciliation. In this final segment to the series, I want to highlight how more interactions were still needed to resolve a problem that […]

Joseph and Pain (Part 4)

  The Joseph story, which takes up the last quarter of Genesis, is an extremely dialogue-rich narrative. As such, it resembles a two-party resolution process that surfaces a deep-seated conflict that is still ‘alive’ with electricity. The excess negative charge from the past needs some sort of outlet to be grounded so that true peace can return. […]

Joseph and Pain (Part 3)

  In our last entry we saw how Joseph had set the stage for his brothers to re-live the past pain of family loss. The only door to hope was bringing Benjamin back to Egypt, but the resulting separation from Jacob would surely create deeper agony for the family. The significant element, though, is that […]

Joseph and Pain (Part 2)

Joseph may seem like he was the only victim in the Genesis narrative, carrying all the family pain by himself. But he was not the only one who was in pain. Father Jacob fell into major depression due to the family loss, and the brothers, at varying degrees, carried guilt and shame for disrupting the relative […]

Joseph and Pain (Part 1)

One reason we know that Joseph carried deep emotional pain within him is the number of times he wept. Throughout this dramatic narrative at the end of Genesis we learn that Joseph wept profusely on seven occasions. Two of those times involved him going into a side room to have a cathartic cry in order […]

Resolving Conflict in the Desert (Part 4)

Can you imagine shaking someone’s hand as a normal gesture that expresses human connection and commitment, yet in doing so making no eye contact? Shaking hands and avoiding eye contact simply do not go together. To not see the other person in the act of symbolic touch essentially nullifies the sincerity implicit in the handshake. […]

Diffusing Conflict in the Desert (Part 3)

By choosing a pathway that was neither Fight or Flight, Isaac had chosen what is often called a Third Way for dealing with conflict. Third Way responses to conflict involve direct and open communication where both parties involved can meet, discuss matters civilly,  listen well and understand each other, increase trust, and thereby reach some […]

Taming Conflict in the Desert (Part 2)

Two out of three times. That seems pretty normal for how often interpersonal problems impact us in our daily dealings with other people. As we learned in the previous segment, Isaac re-opened three wells that his father had once used, and the first two efforts led to quarreling with the neighboring Philistines. He named those […]

Naming Conflict in the Desert (Part 1)

I’m excited to kick-off this new blog which weaves together several strands of my past. One strand has to do with my work experience in restorative justice where since the mid-90’s I have worked with victims and offenders of crime, and managed volunteer-based programs in this field. Another strand has to do with my involvements […]